Solon urges ERC to suspend increases
AS POWER consumers are being forced once again to shoulder another power rate hike in the form of an additional 7 centavos per kilowatt hour (kWh) under the universal charge for the missionary electrification (UCME) component in September, party list Representative Teddy Casiño today urged the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to suspend any power rate hike as consumers are still reeling from the successive price hikes on only on power but in petroleum products as well.
“In the last budget hearing of the Department of Energy, Sec. Rene Almendras assured us that power rates will go down next month. Eh kabaliktaran yata ang mangyayari,” said Casiño.
The ERC has allowed Napocor to increase the UCME for grid-connected consumers next month to about 11.54 centavos per kWh from the current 4.54 centavos per kWh.
The lawmaker also called on Malacañang and the House leadership to immediately approve measures removing or reducing the value added tax (VAT) on electricity in order to prevent government from collecting windfall VAT revenues.
“Napocor’s proposed hike and Meralco’s last increase plus the succeeding increases in the price of electricity due to higher generation costs, universal charges and currency exchange rate adjustments will result in unfair and immoral windfall VAT revenues on power unless we remove or reduce the tax,” said Casiño.